Mid-Holocene Climate Change

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Science  19 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5444, pp. 1485-1487
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5444.1485

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The climate change in our current interglacial period, the Holocene, is relatively muted compared to the larger-scale, rapid climate oscillations during the preceding glacial period. Paleoclimatologists are now using their techniques to characterize climate change in the mid-Holocene, around 5000 to 7000 years ago. At this time, land air temperatures declined, atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns changed, and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increased. The data help understand Earth's climate system, but parallels to today's climate change should be drawn with caution.